Language is the spirit of nations; the cement of the culture mosaic. Its education has a critical role especially for multi-national societies and states. According to Human Rights, every individual has the right to develop, teach and learn his native language in any setting. But this democratic right is required to be regularized with a healthy, efficient and long term multilingual education policy. As one of the most powerful multi-ethnic empires of history, Ottoman Empire embraced numerous cultures and several unique languages. As a policy, the Empire followed a relatively flexible and irregular language policy which fostered national homogeneity and unity in time. On the other hand, the Empire always kept the gap between Anatolian Turkish language by employing Ottoman language as official language. The imbalanced policies of multilingual education and Porte’s distance to Anatolian Turkish contributed a lot to the disintegration of the Empire. This study focuses on why Ottoman language policies adversely affected the unity of the multilingual Empire, scrutinizes the insufficient multilingual education models among Muslim society with its outcomes and discusses how multilingual education in minority schools contributed the disintegration process.
Keywords: Multilingual Education, Ottoman Empire, Minority Schools